Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to Settle Defamation Suit

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Boxer Manny Pacquiao listens during the Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez - Press Conference at Beverly Hills Hotel on September 17, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The potential for a blockbuster fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao has just been given a shot of optimism.

According to the Associated Press (via ESPN), the defamation suit filed by Pacquiao in December 2009 is being settled.

The report provided specifics courtesy of Malcolm LaVergne, the lawyer for Mayweather Jr.'s father:

LaVergne said documents filed under seal ask U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks to dismiss the lawsuit, and that others involved in the case were preparing a public statement. Documents filed publicly said each side would bear its own attorney fees and costs.

The report also states, "The direction of the case took a turn against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last week, when the judge issued a ruling ordering him to pay about $114,000 in legal fees and costs for avoiding questioning under oath from Pacquiao's lawyers."

LaVergne did mention that he doesn't know how this impacts the prospects of a fight, so don't expect these two marquee fighters to square off tomorrow, but this is a step in the right direction. Clearing the air was necessary before specifics could be discussed.

The suit itself stemmed from Mayweather's accusations that Pacquiao was using performance-enhancing drugs after the Filipino superstar refused to submit to Olympic-style drug testing in 2009. Pacquiao denied the PED claims, but the damage was already done.

Now, with Mayweather out of jail, talks regarding a potential matchup are stirring again. Everyone wants to see these two duke it out; anything else would leave unfinished business for each athlete.

Pacquiao, 54-4-2 in his career, is coming off a controversial loss to Timothy Bradley. He will fight Juan Manuel Marquez in December, marking the fourth time the two adversaries will have met.

Mayweather Jr. is 43-0. And at 35 years old, his time in the ring may be coming to a close.

Settling this suit is encouraging, but this saga is far from over. These two will always be attached to one another from the public's perspective, and that will only end if, or when, they meet in the ring.